Rape is still a prevalent issue
It has become an ingrained part of our media system that breaking news has an incredibly short shelf life.
Too often tragic stories of natural disasters and mass shootings are mourned and analyzed until a newer, more tragic story arises.
This fickle media cycle, while momentarily bringing awareness to an issue, rarely dwells on the implications, solutions or ongoing trauma that results from a tragedy.
The recent gang rape and consequential murder of a 23-year-old woman on December 16 in Delhi, India for example, has sparked outrage worldwide.
It’s worthwhile, however, to question whether or not the amount of media attention given to this tragic event will contribute to a change in the way we view, treat and penalize rape and its victims.
While Indian citizens are engaging in protests and calling for change, it’s clear that raising awareness through media does little to actually help change the way society approaches the subject of rape and assault.
Some may blame the victim for travelling on a city bus, it is important to note that she was with a male companion, dispelling the traditional idea that a woman is safe if chaperoned.
Closer to home, the rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio has sparked controversy as the victim was not only blamed for being too drunk, but was videotaped and photographed at the location of the assault.
After two boys allegedly raped the girl, Michael Nodianos, a student present at the party, created a 12-minute video in which he recounts the rape and laughs it off by blaming her drunkenness.
What is most disturbing about these cases is the way that multiple people were involved in the attack and rape, and the general insensitive nature to which these victims were treated.
Condoning rape is just as troublesome as those who actually commit it.
It is important to remember these cases and the millions of others that occur both worldwide and in our own neighbourhoods.
While the media is treating these cases seriously, it is obvious that even in our developed world, rape is still a prevalent issue not adequately being dealt with. Nothing will change until we start teaching children from a young age to respect women.
It is a difficult issue to tackle, but change is only possible if we continue to vocalize our outrage and remember the victims and their tragic news stories.
–The Cord Editorial Board